New cannabis retail and production policies adopted by CVRD

Procedure advances applications for local entrepreneurs

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has approved two new policies that establish criteria for considering cannabis-related business applications.

The Cannabis Retail Store Policy and Cannabis Production Land Use Application Policy were adopted by the CVRD Board of Directors, to guide local entrepreneurs wishing to advance applications for this burgeoning industry in the nine electoral areas in the region.

“With these two policies in place we can provide clarity to those wishing to produce or sell cannabis in the Cowichan Valley as to how it can be done in a permissible manner,” said Ian Morrison, CVRD chair. “This is an exciting economic opportunity for many residents and we look forward to working with applicants to meet community need and capitalize on this new business reality.”

In the coming months, the CVRD board will consider zoning bylaw amendments to permit the sale of cannabis in areas zoned for ‘retail’ use.

The Cannabis Retail Store Policy applies to provincial licenses for cannabis retail sales and further stipulates a cannabis retail store must be at least 300 metres from schools, parks, community centres and other cannabis retail stores, and prohibits retail cannabis sales in residential buildings and areas.

Similar to other communities, cannabis retail license applications must be submitted to the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch before being reviewed by the CVRD. The LCRB will only issue licenses for cannabis retail stores that have support of the CVRD.

The Cannabis Production Land Use Application Policy applies to federal licenses for cultivation (including micro and standard cultivation or nursery), processing (including micro or standard processing), sale for medical purposes, analytical testing and research.

Seven of nine electoral areas have zones where cannabis production is already permitted, and the policy applies only to rezoning applications to permit a federally-licensed cannabis facility.

To learn more about development application processes residents can download the CVRD Development Handbook and review current zoning bylaws and maps at https://www.cvrd.bc.ca/232/Zoning-Bylaws.

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